“God is good all of the time.” That was the phrase I heard repeated throughout my interview with Dallen Thomas.
I first learned of Dallen through my brother Brad Dinkel who had experienced Dallen’s love and service first hand and knew I needed to share his story. When I messaged Dallen to set up a time to talk he responded that he was at my mother’s house helping her to work on her electrical and would have to call me that evening.
Dallen told of his early years in Genola. His family had been there for generations. His great grandfather was one of the very first settlers to the small town and his grandfather was the very first baby born to the settlement.
He spoke of his ancestry and how they came to be a strong permanent fixture in Genola. To say Dallen feels a strong connection to the peaceful town would be an understatement. Dallen claims them all as family, because as he says, “everyone is family even if they don’t share your blood.”
In Dallen’s early years, right out of high school, he traveled to the east to make his career as a jockey. His small frame and his love of riding led to a productive career in horse racing.
Over time he missed the family he had in the west and when the opportunity to move closer to home came, he jumped, riding in the Colorado, Arizona, and California circuit, eventually settling in California. After he and his wife separated, leaving him to raise six young children all alone, Dallen made a change of career working as a journeyman electrician.
After two years of being a busy single parent, Dallen knew he could no longer do it on his own and moved back to the small town of Genola, into his parent’s home, once more among the community he called family.
Dallen said over the years it was the commitment of friends and family which helped him raise his children, finish his education in the electrical field and eventually open his own business. He was blessed with many “family” who helped him along his way.
It was many years after the separation of he and his first wife that a friend introduced him to his current wife Diana.
Dallen reminded me then “God is good all of the time,” claiming that God put people into his path who could help him most and Diana was one of those wonderful people. Diana had a degree in accounting and she quickly took up the books for Dallen’s growing business along with the care of his six children.
As Dallen’s blessings grew he was often seen helping a neighbor in his off hours to help wire a basement or fix the wiring of the pulpit at his local church house. Dallen knew he had been blessed and he needed to give back, working extra hours for free or little pay to help the community which he called family.
When his business took a huge hit some years ago, several government contracts ending because of circumstances out of his control, he found his business in debt for cost of materials and outside contractors, reaching near a million dollars, with little hope of payment coming of work already done. Dallen was devastated. During this same time Dallen’s house was destroyed by fire, Dallen and his family, now grown by five more children, moved back in with his parents.
Of course his family community stepped up for the man who had served them so selflessly all of those years. It started with his local church getting together to demo the sheetrock, to many, many, volunteers helping him as he plumbed and wired and sheetrocked his whole house. Cabinets were built well below market value and installed by family and friends for free.
Dallen said it was often that people would ask if they could help with a little something and gifts of time and money were sent his way. Soon not only was his house finished but his debts were paid in full.
Dallen says that is the legacy of Genola taught to him as a small boy as his father, a man without much means, would often serve and give to those around him. In return the community of Genola can also be seen helping their neighbors who they too would call family.
Dallen will remind you, “God is good all of the time,” but I would say that Dallen is one of those helpers who helps God do good all of the time. Dallin claims he just likes to help family and friends. It would appear the world is his family and he doesn’t know anyone who isn’t his friend. (Gibson is a Serve Daily contributor.)